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Original languageOther
Article number3
Pages (from-to)49-86
Number of pages37
JournalNamn og Nemne
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2015


In the 9th century Irish annals the name Laithlind occurs several times in connection with the Vikings. Many scholars have discussed the semantic content of this name and the location it may indicate. The proposal put forward in this article is based on what Laithlind may have meant in Common Scandinavian. This could have been *Laiþland, (later, in Old Norse, *Leiđland) with a meaning ‘the land along the Leiđ (in Modern Norwegian Leia)’, denoting the important sheltered sailing course along the coast of Norway. It is further suggested that *Leiđland may have referred to a petty kingdom in the SW of Norway (Nord-Rogaland and Sunnhordland) with Avaldsnes at the centre. It is argued that this kingdom was the most powerful in western Norway at the time and that the basis of its power would have been the control of Leia, which starts at Avaldsnes. It is argued that this kingdom would have been a focus of the Norwegian unification process which intensified towards the end of the 9th century, and that the riches brought back from Britain and Ireland would have played a crucial part in this process.

    Research areas

  • Laithlind, Lothlind , Avaldsnes, Vikings , Dublin

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